Table tennis Paralympian Jack Hunter-Spivey on mental health and the Commonwealth Games

Video report by ITV Granada Sports' correspondent David Chisnall.

A Paralympic table tennis player who tried take his own life three times is hoping to go home with gold when he competes at the Commonwealth Games.

Jack Hunter-Spivey, who lives with cerebral palsy, grew up on an Anfield council estate and dreamed as a 10-year-old to play the sport at Paralympic level.

He won his first bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 in the Men’s Singles Class five, beating the world number two and three in the process.

(Second from right) Bronze medallist Jack Hunter Spivey, Tokyo 2020. Credit: PA images

But his journey to becoming a para-athlete has not been easy. Jack has struggled with his mental health and attempted to take his own life on three separate occasions.

It all came to a head after he moved away from home to train in Sheffield and was struggling in his sport.

Speaking to ITV News sports correspondent David Chisnall, Jack said: "I went through a break down really where I was coming to training I was crying - I didn't know what was going on.

"I've been through three suicide attempts in my life even when I've been competing...I was really struggling."

As a child, Jack Hunter-Spivey wanted to compete in table tennis. Credit: Family photo

Jack said he made the "conscious effort" to reach out to someone for help, something he says was "very hard" for him to do.

"You can come through anything," he said.

"I've been in them dark places I was turning around mirrors in my house and not looking at my own reflection and struggling to get out of the house.

"Look at me now I'm the number one seed for the Commonwealth Games so if I can go there and do well that's the dream really."

Commonwealth Games medals for 2022.

Jack's sights are firmly set on Commonwealth Gold and he has one hope - that the crowd will be full of fellow Scousers cheering his name.

The Liverpudlian says competing in Birmingham at a home Games will fulfill a lifelong ambition.

He said: "I've got friends and family going down and it means the world to me to have so much support around me."

The Commonwealth Games will kick off on Thursday, 28 July and will end on Monday, 8 August.

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